Nurses are an important part of the medical field. They are often the first point of contact and primary care professional for patients and their families. Nursing provides an avenue to access a variety of career options, including healthcare teaching, research, and specialty practice areas.
People pursue a career in nursing for many reasons, the most important of which are the practical and personal benefits.
Here are four reasons why nursing may make the ideal career for you.
1. An opportunity to help others
Patients receive direct, one-on-one treatment from nurses. In a hospital or care facility, most people spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Registered nurses (RN) are typically drawn to the field because they want to help people, whether it’s through the short-term treatment of various ailments or the provision of long-term therapy for chronic disorders.
Many people opt to pursue a nursing career because of the human side of medicine rather than the analytical or research-related elements. Careers in nursing are often well-suited to those who genuinely enjoy interacting with and helping others, have excellent communication skills, and are able to show empathy towards others.
2. Ability to work in a variety of areas
Nurses have widely applicable skills and can choose from multiple working environments.
These may include:
- Inpatient nursing
- Nursing homes, extended care, and assisted living
- Hospitals and emergency departments
- Medical centers
- Doctor’s offices
- Outpatient care
- Schools, colleges, and universities
- Public and community health programs
Nurses may choose to work in general practice or to specialize in a particular area of medicine. Addiction management, critical care, neonatology, and genetics are among the many areas of specialism a licensed nurse can choose from.
Registered nurses may also have some choice in who they work with. While many nurses work directly with patients, some prefer to work as nurse educators, policy consultants, or pharma reps.
3. Flexible schedules
Patients in medical institutions or care centers require attention 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As such, nursing shifts are available at all times of day throughout the years, and nurses may frequently pick times that are suitable for their personal circumstances. This versatility can allow nurses to achieve a good work-life balance. For example, those with young kids or other family caregiver responsibilities could choose work that fits their family schedule.
Some nurses may perform a shift rotation, while others, particularly in workplaces and schools without 24-hour care, may work more traditional business hours. Many nurses work part-time for a variety of companies. Others work full-time for a single company and receive benefits such as medical insurance and a pension.
4. Good career options and earning opportunities
Nursing is a lucrative and rapidly expanding career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nursing employment opportunities are expected to expand by 9% between 2020 and 2030, roughly the same as the typical occupation. Some states have even stronger employment prospects in the nursing field. Ohio currently falls within the top 15 for employment in the country.
In 2020, the average yearly pay for registered nurses was $75,330 nationally (or $36.22 per hour). Government employees earned the highest median salary of $84,490 per year, while those working in the academic field earned the lowest median wage of $64,630 per year.
Prospective nurses in Ohio may expect to make less than the national average due to local cost of living figures. Registered nurses in Ohio made an average of $33.53 per hour in 2020, or $69,750 for a full year of work at 40 hours per week. Salaries do vary from city to city, and nurses working in some specialties may make more than others.
A salary aggregator site—like Indeed.com, ZipRecruiter.com, or Salary.com—may help you determine how much nurses make in your city or county. You can look into what businesses are offering based on their job advertisements by searching for job titles, then by location or state.
How to become a registered nurse in Ohio?
If you’ve decided that nursing is the career for you, then the next step is to start the process of becoming a licensed nurse. Here is a brief overview of how to become an RN in Ohio:
Before being certified, a prospective registered nurse must complete an approved course and pass a licensing exam.
You must first graduate from a program approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing or the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
Ohio registered nursing programs are divided into four categories:
- Associate degree
- Bachelor’s degree
- Direct entrance graduate programs
Although all programs prepare students to take the NCLEX-RN test, the job options vary. Many Ohio nurses go on to get other nursing degrees in addition to the one that qualified them in the first place. Additional education can qualify you to carry out specific medical procedures, which may improve your employment prospects.
After you have passed the NCLEX-RN exam, you can apply for your nursing license. This entails filing an application, submitting your fingerprints, passing a criminal background check, and paying a fee.
To review, you must do the following to become a registered nurse in Ohio:
- Complete an approved nursing program
- Pass the NCLEX-RN exam
- Submit an application, including fingerprinting and a criminal background check
Related: How to become a nurse in Ohio
Protecting yourself while you work
RNs in Ohio and across the country face unique workplace risks. They work very closely with patients, providing them with advice and physical assistance. This may happen in a variety of settings, including a patients’ homes, where you might come into contact with their personal property. These situations and others can create potential liabilities for registered nurses in Ohio.
Business insurance helps protect nurses against expensive lawsuits and claims that may be made by patients or their families. You might consider different forms of coverage to manage these risks and shield your personal bank accounts.